Breaking News
More () »

Staying safe and warm on the road, at home this winter

Thursday's winter storm took many by surprise. Here are a few things you need to know to prevent cold weather damage to your car or home.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The winter storm that hit Kentucky this week served as a reminder of how much snow and cold temperatures can impact our lives.

Whether you're braving the weather or staying at home, here are some ways that you can be prepared this winter.

On the road

If you're planning to travel during a snow or ice event, caution is key. Even before you hit the road, you need to make sure that your vehicle is ready to handle tough conditions.

"Obviously problems occur in the situation we faced in the past 24 hours," said Lynda Lambert, a spokesperson for AAA East Central. 

RELATED: 'It's backed up as far as I can see' | Kentucky man stuck on I-75 for 4 hours during snow

Lambert said last winter, AAA East Central rescued 66,000 drivers with dead batteries. She said it's a common issue when the temperatures change and her best advice is to be proactive.

She encourages everyone to have their battery checked at a trusted repair facility.

"If your battery is more than three years old, you need to have it checked at least once a year," she said.

Make sure that your gas tank and windshield wiper fluid are both full and pack emergency supplies like food, bottled water and blankets in case you were to get stranded.

When you're on the road, drive slowly and cautiously during snowy or icy conditions. Leave plenty of room for other drivers and crews who may be plowing or laying down road treatments.

At home

While the snow has passed (for now), freezing temperatures can create more problems at home. Local plumbing companies like Dauenhauer Plumbing started receiving calls Friday morning to repair frozen pipes. 

To avoid major issues, Ted Arena with Dauenhauer recommended the following steps:

  • Make sure your garden hose is not attached to your home year-round with the water on
  • Let your faucet drip when temperatures drop below freezing
  • Keep cabinet doors open to keep pipes from freezing

Remember to keep an eye on sources of heat that could become fire hazards, like fireplaces and space heaters. Never run generators indoors or near doors and windows.

Helping others

While many people stayed indoors, volunteers with Veterans Club spent their Friday morning giving out coats, blankets and other items to help those who are homeless.

"I would say it's probably the coldest day of the year so far, said Veterans Club Inc. founder Jeremy Harrell. "No one should have to live out on the street in zero-degree, ten-degree weather and, unfortunately, we do have that problem in the city."

Louisville is under Operation White Flag due to the cold temperatures. During this time, anyone in need of shelter will be accepted at the following locations:

  • Wayside Christian Mission
  • St. Vincent de Paul (men only)
  • Salvation Army day shelter

Anyone with questions about shelter can call the Single Point of Entry line at 502-637-2237.

During his weather briefing Thursday, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer reminded the public to check on elderly neighbors and family members who may be unable to access needed resources during inclement weather.

Contact reporter Gabrielle Harmon at gharmon@whas11.com. Follow her on Twitter (@_GabbyHarmonTV) and Facebook.

Make it easy to keep up-to-date with more stories like this. Download the WHAS11 News app now. For Apple or Android users.

Have a news tip? Email assign@whas11.com, visit our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

Before You Leave, Check This Out